Downtown Winnipeg Highlights from 2016

2016 was a fantastic year for downtown Winnipeg. Reduced crime, increased cleanliness, and added community support have continued to shape the downtown into a great place to play, shop, and live. Here are ten highlights from 2016 to celebrate as the year comes to a close.

 

  1. Sizzling Summer Events

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The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosted 230 events between June and October, attracting over 50,000 visitors to the downtown! From Zumba to movie screenings, festivals to concerts, there was truly something for everyone.

 

  1. Times Square Expert Takes On Portage and Main

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This February, president and CEO of Times Square Alliance Tim Tompkins came to the Fairmont Winnipeg to discuss opening Portage and Main to pedestrians. Tompkins played a huge role in turning Times Square into the tourist destination that it is today, and his perspective on Portage and Main provided a proven vision for the future of this iconic intersection.

 

  1. Police Unveil New Downtown Safety Strategy

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In mid-December, Winnipeg Police Service announced a new strategy to patrol the downtown. With a combination of modern technology and “walking the beat,” the new strategy will increase the presence of officers and foster a heightened sense of community. We look forward to seeing it in action.

 

  1. Manyfest Continues to Grow and Impress

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Seventy thousand people enjoyed the sixth annual Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Manyfest from September 9 to 11. The event celebrates arts, entertainment, community, and healthy living. The Food Truck Wars, presented by ROYALE Tiger Towel, was a particularly tasty highlight again.

 

  1. Canada Day Living Flag Still the Biggest

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Over 3,158 people gathered at Shaw Park on Canada Day to create a living flag, and we’re proud to say it was the biggest in the country! Shout-out to all the participants who made this event one for the record books.

 

  1. Pop-Up at Portage and Main

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From June to September, all four corners of Portage and Main hosted pop-up events on the last Friday of the month. Pedestrians experienced an exciting variety of events and entertainment in Canada’s famous intersection.

 

  1. #finditdowntown

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In May, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ won Marketing Campaign of the Year (over $2,500) at the Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction. Our social media platforms are doing better than ever at informing followers, capturing moments, and celebrating all that downtown Winnipeg has to offer.

 

  1. Host it Downtown

 

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s “Host It Downtown” program aims to increase the number of events downtown. It was founded in 2015, and in 2016, we attracted new and existing events like the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, SpaceLand, and Peg City St. Patrick’s Day Parade to our downtown. Perhaps we could host your next event?

 

  1. CHAT Program Better than Ever

 

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) received increased support this year, with an annual investment of $120,000 from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries and $150,000 from the City of Winnipeg.

 

The CHAT program provides support to downtown Winnipeg’s vulnerable populations, including homeless people and/or people struggling with addictions or mental health issues.

 

  1. True North Square announced

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In February, True North unveiled plans for True North Square, a $400 million development featuring businesses, hospitality and entertainment, residential space, outdoor rinks, and more.

 

Construction is already underway, and the end product will show again how much our downtown has to offer those who want to live, work, and play in this bustling area that continues to grow with opportunity.

Duck duck…JETS!

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Party at Portage & Main when Jets got the wild card playoff spot! Photo c/o @xjmetro on Instagram.

 

Tonight, the Jets square off with the Anaheim Ducks, and while some Winnipeggers may be fans of the Ducks – tonight, we’re rooting for the home team. It didn’t take long for fans to snap playoff tickets – rumour has it that 1,000 were available and they sold out in mere seconds. So if you don’t have tickets like me, here’s a list of places to watch the Jets hit the ice – you just need to #finditdowntown! Snap a photo of you watching the game downtown, use the hashtag #finditdowntown, and I’ll enter you in for a chance to win a beer button for you to pour your own beer at Carbone!

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza (260 St. Mary Ave.)

Enjoy live music on a spacious patio before every home game. Test your hockey skills with a street hockey tournament. Or if you’re anything like me, you’ll just want to enjoy Carbone’s #WhiteOut drink and pizza features – we’re talking $2 off white sangria, white grape cosmos, Shock Top, and their New White pizza! Yum! And get this, during every away game, you can literally drink your way into free pizza – any amount spent on draft beer will be credited to your pizza bill. I’m OK with this. Oh yeah, the game will be screened on all of Carbone’s TV screens.

Shannon’s Pub (175 Carlton St.)

How does a $15 Jets burger with any domestic draft sound? Eat your face off (get it, face-off?) while enjoying the game on Shannon’s HD projection screen.

The Pint Public House (274 Garry St.)

New to Garry Street, The Pint is getting Jetsy with some amazing specials! On game days, Budweiser and Bud Light for $6 (20 oz. pints), $17 (pitchers), and $35 (table kegs), and to give you the energy to shout Go! Jets! Go!, give the Poutine Playoff burger a try. No shortage of screens to watch the game on: come with friends, and keep the celebration going after the game with DJs playing, Jet Fuel shooters and a special #WPGwhiteout drink.

Club 200 (190 Garry St.)

See the Jets score against the Ducks on a big screen and enter to win a Jets jersey with every food or beverage purchase. And if you’re thirsty, Alexander Keiths draft goes for $4 a pint and $4 for Fireball shots.

Earls on Main (191 Main St.)

Chicken wings at $6/lb and $3 for sleeves and $5 for pints of Bud, Bud Light, and Rhino Draft. Watch the game on all indoor TV screens.

Café Bella and Lounge (330 York Ave.)

For $12.99, enjoy a Spud, Bud, & Steak Sandwich (a 7 oz. NY Striploin on a Texas Style Garlic Toast with a Baked Potato with all the fixings) AND a pint of Bud or Bud Light!

Tavern United MTS (260 Hargrave St.)

While you fight your way into a pair of play-off tickets with others at the bar (visit tavernunited.com for more info), you can also view the game on Tavern’s rooftop – they’re setting up a giant screen! Pitchers of Bud are $13.99 and pints are $3.99 for all home and away games.

The Met (281 Donald St.)

Shout #GoJetsGo in front of a 40-foot screen while enjoying $3.99 bottles of Bud Light.

Boston Pizza (333 St. Mary Ave.)

Blue beer, yes, BLUE beer can be enjoyed by you and your pals – along with copious amounts of food and drink specials. Enter to win a chance to win P1 front row tickets to the next playoff game!

Hy’s Winnipeg (1 Lombard Pl.)

Work downtown? Study downtown? Just stay downtown and enjoy happy hour from 4-6 p.m.! A 3-coure prefix menu for $41 and complimentary parking after 5pm is good enough reason to come to Hy’s to watch the games!

The Old Spaghetti Factory (25 Forks Market Rd.)

Here’s your chance to namedrop. Get 10% off your food and drink when you watch the game by mentioning my name!

The Velvet Glove (2 Lombard Pl.)

Sharing is caring: buy three platters and get one free. Enjoy the game on Velvet Glove’s large screens.

Rudy’s Eat and Drink (375 Graham Ave.)

Rudy’s has one of the largest patios in the city, and to celebrate the playoffs, they are making it look like a big ‘ol hockey rink! Watch the game on two outdoor 65” screens, while enjoying $4 Bud and Bud Light pints and $14 for pitchers, and you could win a pair of tickets to game #4!

The Keg (115 Garry St.)

Get #WpgWhiteOut with $5.50 pints of Rickards White!

Pony Corral (444 St. Mary Ave.)

49-cent ribees and wings in the lounge during the game. Enter for your chance to win a Jets pub table and 2 stools!

Shark Club (233 Hargrave St.)

$6.99 shark size Molson Canadian. Prizes given away every game!

 

While these places won’t be screening the games, you should obviously check them out for their delicious discounts and Jets promotions! Come hungry, leave full and happy:

The Fyxx on Broadway: buy one specialty drink and get second one for half price

Bodegoes at cityplace: devour handcrafted whiteout cupcakes and cookies

Second Cup on Graham: 10% off any drink or food item

Totally Confused Café: Buy a sandwich, get a free coffee or a free can drink

Nick’s on Broadway: 2 pastrami sandwiches for $16 if you’re wearing a Jets jersey and/or hat on game days. Hours extended to game start time on home game days.

Hello hockey!! (Help!)

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Maybe you’ve already noticed, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll say so myself: I’m not a very sporty gal.

I was the kid who would sneak out of gym class to go shopping downtown. I’d choose pumps over pumping any day. I’m much more interested in restaurant reviews than sports stats. And…I’m almost sorry to say that I’ve only set foot in our very own MTS Centre for concerts and things other than hockey.

But it’s all about to change.

It’s been declared the Year of Sport in Manitoba (aside from the usual suspects, we’re hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup of Soccer AND the Grey Cup!) and I’m kicking it off (puns always intended!) the best way I know how.

Tomorrow our hometown boys play against Ottawa and I am very excited to finally have the chance to cheer them on!

 

Here’s my tentative agenda for the evening. Please let me know if I’m on the right track:

1. Head to the Jets Gear Store at 300 Portage Ave. on my lunch break to pick up something thematically appropriate to wear to the game, so everyone knows who I’m cheering for.

2. Dash to the Yellow Dog Tavern at 386 Donald (hop, skip & jump away from MTS Centre) right after work to grab a spot because I hear it fills up VERY quickly on hockey nights!

3. Have a bite to eat, perhaps my favourite grilled cheese sandwich in the city (the rosemary adds a little something extra special), but really anything on this not-your-average pub-grub menu will satisfy!

4. Instagram (#finditdowntown)

5. Wash it down with a local beer – they’ve got the standard line-up of Half Pints on tap, and they’ve also always got first dibs on any of the exclusive, limited time Half Pints kegs (think Pistachio Mustachio for Movember, etc.)

6. Scoot over to the MTS Centre, find my seats, shout “Go Jets GO!” as many times as possible, perhaps grab a Jets Dog as a snack (I hear they are epic), cheer some more, and hope they win!

7. Instagram (#GoJetsGo, #finditdowntown)

8. Take the skywalk to Shark Club or Boston Pizza or The Pint for a post-game drink.

 

Sound about right to you? What does your typical game night look like? Which are your favourite pre- and post-game hang outs? What are your favourite snacks at the game?

Fill me in, friends – I’m a rookie!

The Jets are almost back!

Valentine's DayWhile the lockout was going on, it just felt way too sad for me to have my Go Jets Go page up on the site – just kind of reminds you every day they weren’t playing! But now that it’s over (whew!) my guide to places downtown showing the games and tips on pre/post game snack stops is back up and updated! (Check out the new listing for the Met – trust me, you’ll want to go)

The countdown to the first game is on, and here’s the updated page for you!